• Children & Dogs

    Children and Dogs

    Often, I am asked to advise families when the family dog begins behaving in ways that are not so family-friendly. Parents call me, confused, when the dog they brought home for their children is behaving less like Lassie and more like Cujo. Unfortunately, television shows and movies have created the impression that kids and dogs just go together naturally. They don’t. Both the children and the dog need you, the adult, to teach them how to behave with one another.  When I am asked for my advice on issues with a family dog, my first question is “How are your kids with the dog?” The answer is almost always the same: “My kids love…

  • Children & Dogs

    The Family Dog: Decisions and Deal-breakers

    I am often asked to advise individuals looking for a good family dog. Too often, however, these individuals are really asking me to help them find the perfect dog: playful, but obedient; protective, but friendly; energetic, but gentle; confident, but not aggressive. They are looking for a dog that will fit effortlessly into their family’s life. Such a dog does not exist. Bringing a dog into a home with children requires a great deal of time, effort, and commitment.  It’s a Contract  When you adopt or purchase a dog you are in essence creating a contract with this dog that you will meet his or her needs for food, exercise, companionship, medical care, safety, and training.  This dog did not choose you; you chose to bring this dog into your family. You have an obligation to fulfill his or her needs…

  • Children & Dogs

    Introducing your dog to your New baby

    Before you have your baby, realize that your dog’s temperament will not change once your child comes home.  A dog that does not like children will not automatically like yours because he realizes you gave birth to him.  Your dog will not realize, he can no longer sleep in your bed, or chew his bone on your couch.  You must instill a new order way before your child comes home.  Before The Baby Comes  Make sure to get your dog used to a new feeding, walking and exercising schedule before you bring your baby home.  This schedule must be realistic for a new born child.  It also might be wise to hire…

  • Children & Dogs

    Thinking of having a Baby?

    Don’t make these dog mistakes  Usually bringing a human baby home adds a new stress to the home life; a good stress but new stress none the less.  If you are ever anticipating having a child, avoid these common pitfalls that dog owners allow their canine baby to get used to.  Jumping or Giving Paw:  If allow your dog to jump or teach him to give paw, it’s going to be hard to undo that training once your baby comes home.  An infant’s skin is sensitive, your dog may want to jump on you or give you his paw but if you are holding the infant, chances are he or she will…